By Matt Williams
The re-sentencing hearing for two East Texas deer poachers who pled guilty to felony conspiracy and wildlife trafficking charges stemming from the illegal sale of guided deer hunts in Kansas has been rescheduled for Oct. 28, according Jim Cross with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Wichita.
James Butler and Marlin Butler, both of Martinsville, were originally scheduled to appear on Sept. 23 for re-sentencing before Senior District Judge Monti Belot. However, government prosecutors asked for a continuance after learning that U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent John Brooks would be out of the country on business at the time, Cross said.
Brooks ramrodded a multi-year investigation into the Butler brothers that eventually lead to the men being named in a 23 count felony indictment in 2010. The indictment tied the Butlers to a long string of illegal deer hunting activity in the Sunflower State between 2005 and 2008.
According to court documents, the brothers worked together in operating a guiding service and hunting camp called Camp Lone Star in Comanche County, Kan. There, prosecutors say the Butlers sold guided hunts to non-resident hunters for the purpose of illegally hunting and killing white-tailed deer and mule deer. The hunts reportedly sold for $2,500 to $5,500 each.
The indictment states that clients guided by the Butlers and other CLS guides were directed, permitted and encouraged to engage in a variety of illegal hunting practices.
Additionally, the indictment charged that the brothers arranged for the transport of deer that had been killed illegally, or parts of the deer, particularly the antlers, across state lines. That lead to felony charges under the Lacey Act, a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport and sell, in interstate commerce, any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of state law or regulation. More....